Farm tour, demonstrations and beautiful views at Bahner Farm kick off Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days Series

Posted May 31, 2013, at 8:40 a.m.
LewLou | BDN
LewLou | BDN
LewLou | BDN

Friday, June 7, 2013 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Bahner Farm, 153 Augusta Road (Route 3), Belmont, ME

For more information: Diane Allmayer-Beck; 207-338-3105; belfastgardenclub.org

Farm tour, demonstrations and beautiful views at Bahner Farm kick off Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days Series

Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days series begins Friday June 7th from 10am-4pm at Bahner Farm, 153 Augusta Road (Route 3) in Belmont. Tickets can be purchased at the farm garden on the day of the tour for $4 or $15 for a 5-week pass. Proceeds from the 2013 Open Garden Days will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

Christa and Michael Bahner will share their 37-acre organic family farm, which they started in 2009 on the site of what is rumored to be the oldest homestead in Belmont, circa 1840. “When we bought the farm, the field was completely overrun with brush and goldenrod. You had to wade through it,” Christa remembers while checking in with the farm crew weeding a row of young Hakurei summer turnips (Michael’s favorite) in the now bramble-free fertile field.

Today as you walk down the hill, beyond the bustle of Route 3, long rows of newly planted brassicas, chard, head lettuce, beets, and carrots jostle in a lovely breeze. The Bahners, who met gaining farming experience while apprenticing at Peacemeal farm in Dixmont, have cleared two acres of workable farmland here. Combined with 6 acres of leased fields in several nearby locations they grow over 30 kinds of organic vegetables and small fruits. These vegetables are sold on the farm at the farmstand, weekly at several farmers markets in the region, to several local restaurants and through the farm’s growing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm shares in both summer and winter.

The farm uses three greenhouses to start seedlings early in spring and to keep hot weather vegetables such as peppers, cucumbers, tomato and basil happy until the weather turns warm for good. Enjoy the pastoral view over the valley to Morrill and beyond and visit the farm chickens in their upcycled ford van chicken coop. Ask Michael about the barn, he’s heard that it has changed location at least once by way of a team of oxen!

The farmstand will be open during the tour, offering the Bahner’s organic farm fresh vegetables and seedlings. Let Them Eat Cake of Belfast will be selling bakery treats. (Within the month the Bahners expect to add a variety of culinary treats such as cheese, coffee, baked goods and eggs from local farms and bakeries to list of available goodies at the farmstand this summer.)

The Bahners will lead two formal presentations during their Open Garden Days tour. At 11:30am Christa, who has a degree in soil science from UMASS Amherst, will demonstrate her method of “potting up” (small plants to bigger pots), and show visitors how the farm creates their potting soil blend. At 2pm, Michael will lead a walking tour of the farm. Visitors are encouraged to wear sturdy outdoor shoes or mud boots. Many portions of the farm tour have not dried from the recent rains.

DIRECTIONS: Bahner Farm is located at 153 Augusta Rd. (Route 3) in Belmont. From downtown Belfast take Route 3 west. Go about 5.4mi. Farm is on the right side immediately before the Belmont Boatworks. Once you get close look for the yellow Open Garden signs and the Bahner Farmstand open flag. Some portions of the garden are wheelchair accessible.

The next BGC Open Garden Day will be Friday June 14 at the Wood Garden, 580 Castine Road, Orland.

For 8 consecutive years, Belfast Garden Club has presented Open Garden

Days, a Friday garden tour series, which will feature 11 gardens in

the Belfast area. From backyard experimental plantings and ornate

Master Gardens, to cooperative gardens and vegetable plots visitors can expect to see brilliant blooms, unique and rare plants, sculpture, exquisite views and ponds. Several gardens will feature special presentations by the gardeners, and at least two will have farm stands to peruse! While many of this year’s gardens are new to the tour, several of past years’ favorites are returning to Open Garden Days so that viewers will be able to see what changes have taken place! Proceeds from the 2013 Open Garden Days will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call

Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105, email belfastgardenclub@gmail.com, or

visit www.belfastgardenclub.org.